Warner Bros. Discovery plans to offer live sports for free on Max

WARNER Bros. Discovery plans to offer live sports at no additional price on its Max streaming service for a short period later this year, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday.

Customers will need to pay an added cost for sports on the platform starting next year, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The media and entertainment firm declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

Warner Bros. Discovery owns media rights to the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball, among other sporting events.

Streaming platforms have been looking to invest in rights to stream live sports to gain market share and attract advertisers in an already saturated market.

High costs for scripted content and the Hollywood writers’ and actors’ strikes have hindered movie and show launches, hurting profit.

Warner Bros. Discovery said on Tuesday the dual strikes, the first in 63 years, would hit profit for the year.

Chief Executive Officer David Zaslav would be participating in an investor conference after markets close on Wednesday to discuss the impact of the strikes.

Warner Bros. Discovery relaunched Max in May looking to attract more subscribers in the burgeoning video streaming sector, pricing the ad-supported subscription tier at $10 per month and ad-free version for $16 per month.

Meanwhile, Walt Disney pulled ESPN, ABC, and other channels including live sporting events off Charter Communications Spectrum cable service in the US over an unresolved distribution agreement. — Reuters

Neil Banzuelo

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